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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

Sitting by myself

I’m in what looks like a really small mall, a few streets away from my I.S.P, killing some time before my dance class starts. I’m sitting on a blue bench that faces a business that, for what I can tell, it’s a model agency. There’s a sign that reads “Admission Open”, and a lot of young girl dressed up in a Nepali traditional costume, they seem about 12 to 14. One of the girls is crying next to the door and her mom is trying to calm her, I’m guessing she didn’t do well in the audition. I feel bad for her, and I remember the times in my childhood I felt like I wasn’t good enough, it’s a horrible feeling to have, especially when you are not able to realize that not getting an audition, doesn’t really means there’s something wrong with you. On the other hand, I feel kind of uncomfortable seeing a bunch of little girls with full makeup acting like grown ups, with their parents allowing and even encourage them to be here. And I know I’m no one to judge them, since I can only see things from the perspective my experiences allow me, but I’m still doing it. I look at the whole scene: the parents making sure the girl’s hair are perfect, the music playing on the background, the little girl crying next to the door and it hits me, I’m here, by myself, in the middle of Kathmandu and the memory of this scene is part of my story, no one elses.

This is one of those moments that don’t seem epic enough to share them with people (even though that’s exactly what I’m doing right now), and maybe in some weeks I’ll forget all about it. But these instants, the times only you live, makes you realize who you are right now: how your mind works, how different is your life compared to the ones you’re seeing, how empathetic or cold you are in different situations… who you are.

Maybe, if I had been with someone, I wouldn’t have thought about going into the mall since there wasn’t really a reason to do it, or if I would, maybe I wouldn’t payed attention to the “Open Admissions” sign, and the parents making sure the girls were perfect, and the girl crying next to the door, because I would have been caught up in some conversation. And even if I would have notice the bizarre scene, my reaction to it would be influence by the other person’s point of view. If they thought the girl’s dresses were beautiful, or the music was funny, or one of the parent seem especially mean, then I would have notice those details and my reaction and my experience of the moment would have been different. The fact that I experienced it by myself makes it so valuable, since it’s shows how my mind works detached a little bit to my friend’s or family’s opinions (I’m saying a little bit since all the people around me influence the way I think even if they’re not there). In moments like this, when you’re by yourself you can realize the details you mind pay attention to, the feelings and sensations that arises in you body without you consciously controlling it, the memories you remember from years before. All the instant connections your mind make can only be seen when there’s no one by yourself influencing how you experience a moment. And yet, we tend to  not appreciate it, forgetting the moments we live alone, as if we need someone approval to make a memory worthy, either by someone being there, or at least being interesting enough to some one else to hear.

I look at my watch, it’s 2:50… I need to get to class.